Board meeting guidelines
Guiding Principle: Everyone has the right to participate in discussion if they wish; every member should get a chance to weigh in before anyone may speak a second time. Only urgent matters may interrupt a speaker. Only one thing (motion) can be discussed at a time; related issues should be tabled until the current motion is decided.
A motion is the topic under discussion (e.g., “I move that we add a coffee break to this meeting”). After being recognized by the president of the board (or an officer elected to act as chair), any member can introduce a motion when no other motion is on the table. A motion requires a second to be considered. Each motion must be disposed of (passed, defeated, tabled, referred to committee, or postponed indefinitely).
After recognition by the president/chair of the board, present your motion. A second is required for the motion to go to the floor for discussion, or consideration.
After recognition by the president/chair of the board, move to amend by
Move to substitute your motion for the original motion. If it is seconded, discussion will continue on both motions and eventually the body will vote on which motion they prefer.
Move to refer to a committee. Try to be specific as to the charge to the committee.
Move to postpone to a definite time or date.
Move to limit debate to a set period of time or to a set number of speakers. Requires a ⅔ vote.
Move to close the debate. Requires a ⅔ vote.
Move to table the motion. The motion may be taken from the table after 1 item of business has been conducted. If the motion is not taken from the table by the end of the next meeting, it is dead. A majority is required to table a motion without killing it.
Call for a return to the agenda.
Move to recess for a set period of time.
Move to adjourn.
Without being recognized, call for a recount. At this point a roll call vote will be taken.
Without recognition, call for “Point of Information” or “Point of Parliamentary Inquiry.” The president of the board will ask you to state your question and will attempt to clarify the situation.
Move to reconsider. If the majority agrees, the motion comes back on the floor as though the vote had not occurred.
Move to rescind. If previous written notice is given, a simple majority is required. If no notice is given, a ⅔ vote is required.
All discussion should be constructive - statements attempting to build agreement and find solutions. Non-constructive statements should be identified by the chair or other board members, and the discussion returned to a constructive mode.
If the discussion becomes too heated, the motion should be postponed to later in the meeting, or the discussion closed and a vote called.
|Action||Must Be||Open for||Can be||Vote Count|
|Seconded||Discussion||Amended||Required to Pass|
|Kill a Motion||√||Majority|
|Refer to Committee||√||√||√||Majority|
|Postpone to Later Time||√||√||√||Majority|